|There were "old" features in your gua (hexagram). It means that you have two hexagrams. The first one — is something that the Book tells you at the moment, the second is something it warns you about.
22. Adorning (bì). Grace
Learn to distinguish perfect from the beautiful, the true from illusory. Learn how to find beauty in the small and enjoy it.
Inital text of I Ching
Grace has success. In small matters it is favorable to undertake something.
Fire at the foot of the mountain:
The image of Grace. Thus does the superior man proceed when clearing up current affairs. But he dare not decide controversial issues in this way.
- He lends grace to his toes, leaves the carriage, and walks.
- Lends grace to the beard on his chin.
- Graceful and moist. Constant perseverance brings good fortune.
- Grace or simplicity? A white horse comes as if on wings. He is not a robber, he will woo at the right time.
- Grace in hills and gardens. The roll of silk is meager and small. Humiliation, but in the end good fortune.
- Simple grace. No blame.
Outwardly, everything is good. But it is not time for great things. At the moment content with little. Do not obsess over visual appeal. Look at what's happening and choose goals for the future according to the dictates of the soul. Furnishing our external, do not forget to take care of the internal, true beauty is inside.
This hexagram shows a fire that breaks out of the secret depths of the earth
and, blazing up, illuminates and beautifies the mountain, the heavenly
heights. Grace-beauty of form-is necessary in any union if it is to be well
ordered and pleasing rather than disordered and chaotic.
Grace brings success. However, it is not the essential or fundamental thing; it
is only the ornament and therefore be used sparingly and only in little things.
In the lower trigram of fire a yielding line comes between two strong lines
and makes them beautiful, but the strong lines are the essential content and
the weak line is the beautifying form. In the upper trigram of the mountain,
the strong line takes the lead, so that here again the strong element must be
regarded as the decisive factor. In nature we see in the sky the strong light of
the sun; the life of the world depends on it. But this strong, essential thing is
changed and given pleasing variety by the moon and the stars. In human
affairs, aesthetic form comes into being when traditions exist that, strong and
abiding like mountains, are made pleasing by a lucid beauty. By
contemplating the forms existing in the heavens we come to understand time
and its changing demands. Through contemplation of the forms existing in
human society it becomes possible to shape the world.
The fire, whose light illuminates the mountain and makes it pleasing, does
not shine far; in the same way, beautiful form suffices to brighten and to
throw light upon matters of lesser moment, but important questions cannot
be decided in this way. They require greater earnestness.
A beginner in subordinate place must take upon himself the labor of
advancing. There might be an opportunity of surreptitiously easing the way-
symbolized by the carriage-but a self-contained man scorns help gained in a
dubious fashion. He thinks it more graceful to go on foot than to drive in a
carriage under false pretenses.
The beard is not an independent thing; it moves only with the chin. The
image therefore means that form is to be considered only as a result and
attribute of content. The beard is a superfluous ornament. To devote care to it
for its own sake, without regard for the inner content of which it is an
ornament, would bespeak a certain vanity.
This represents a very charming life situation. One is under the spell of grace
and the mellow mood induced by wine. This grace can adorn, but it can also
swamp us. Hence the warning not to sink into convivial indolence but to
remain constant in perseverance. Good fortune depends on this.
An individual is in a situation in which doubts arise as to which is better-to
pursue the grace of external brilliance, or to return to simplicity. The doubt
itself implies the answer. Confirmation comes from the outside; it comes like
a white winged horse. The white color indicates simplicity. At first it may be
disappointing to renounce the comforts that might have been obtained, yet
one finds peace of mind in a true relationship with the friend who courts
him. The winged horse is the symbol of the thoughts that transcend all limits
of space and time.
A man withdraws from contact with people of the lowlands, who seek
nothing but magnificence and luxury, in to the solitude of the heights. There
he finds an individual to look up to, whom he would like to have as a friend.
But the gifts he has to offer are poor and few, so that he feels ashamed.
However, it is not the material gifts that count, but sincerity of feeling, and so
all goes well in the end.
Here at the highest stage of development all ornament is discarded. Form no
longer conceals content but brings out its value to the full. Perfect grace
consists not in exterior ornamentation of the substance, but in the simple
fitness of its form.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
This hexagram can be favorable only for the affairs concerning theatre. It means, that you have a propensity to hide the original face, and people surrounding you too behave not quite sincerely. Your love affairs are problematic enough now. But successes in other spheres are possible. Your desires will be executed, but is completely not fast. It is necessary to try to accept a life such as it is, and to study at it.
20. Viewing (guān). Contemplation
You may work day and night long, but no fruit can be grown without spiritual work.
Inital text of I Ching
Contemplation. The ablution has been made, but not yet the offering. Full of trust they look up to him.
The wind blows over the earth:
The image of Contemplation. Thus the kings of old visited the regions of the world, contemplated the people, and gave them instruction.
- Boylike contemplation. For an inferior man, no blame. For a superior man, humiliation.
- Contemplation through the crack of the door. Furthering for the perseverance of a woman.
- Contemplation of my life decides the choice between advance and retreat.
- Contemplation of the light of the kingdom. It furthers one to exert influence as the guest of a king.
- Contemplation of my life. The superior man is without blame.
- Contemplation of his life. The superior man is without blame.
It is time of external harmony. Much has been achieved. It is time to step back and look at its movement through the eyes of a stranger - you need objectivity. Do not seek to cover all with common eye - gradually learn about the essentials, learn the essence. Most of all, concentration and inner truth are needed. Self-deception is dangerous! It is time of active inner work, evolving, soul-searching.
A slight variation of tonal stress gives the Chinese name for this hexagram a
double meaning. It means both contemplating and being seen, in the sense
of being an example. These ideas are suggested by the fact that the hexagram
can be understood as picturing a type of tower characteristic of ancient China.
A tower of this kind commanded a wide view of the country; at the same
time, when situated on a mountain, it became a landmark that could be seen
for miles around. Thus the hexagram shows a ruler who contemplates the
law of heaven above him and the ways of the people below, and who, by
means of good government, sets a lofty example to the masses.
This hexagram is linked with the eight month (September-October). The
light-giving power retreats and the dark power is again on the increase.
However, this aspect is not material in the interpretation of the hexagram as a
The sacrificial ritual in China began with an ablution and a libation by which
the Deity was invoked, after which the sacrifice was offered. The moment of
time between these two ceremonies is the most sacred of all, the moment of
deepest inner concentration. If piety is sincere and expressive of real faith, the
contemplation of it has a transforming awe-spiring effect on those who
Thus also in nature a holy seriousness is to be seen in the fact that natural
occurrences are uniformly subject to law. Contemplation of the divine
meaning underlying the workings of the universe gives to the man who is
called upon to influence others the means of producing like effects. This
requires that power of inner concentration which religious contemplation
develops in great men strong in faith. It enables them to apprehend the
mysterious and divine laws of life, and by means of profoundest inner
concentration they give expression to these laws in their own persons. Thus
a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing and dominating
others without their being aware of how it happens.
When the wind blows over the earth it goes far and wide, and the grass must
bend to its power. These two occurrences find confirmation in the hexagram.
The two images are used to symbolize a practice of the kings of old; in making
regular journeys the ruler could, in the first place, survey his realm and make
certain that none of the existing usages of the people escaped notice; in the
second, he could exert influence through which such customs as were
unsuitable could be changed.
All of this points to the power possessed by a superior personality. On the
one hand, such a man will have a view of the real sentiments of the great
mass of humanity and therefore cannot be deceived; on the other, he will
impress the people so profoundly, by his mere existence and by the impact of
his personality, that they will be swayed by him as the grass by the wind.
This means contemplation from a distance, without comprehension. A man
of influence is at hand, abut his influence is not understood by the common
people. This matters little in the case of the masses, for they benefit by the
actions of the ruling sage whether they understand them or not. But for a
superior man it is a disgrace. He must not content himself with a shallow,
thoughtless view of prevailing forces; he must contemplate them as a
connected whole and try to understand them.
Through the crack of the door one has a limited outlook; one looks outward
from within. Contemplation is subjectively limited. One tends to relate
everything to oneself and cannot put oneself in another's place and
understand his motives. This is appropriate for a good housewife. It is not
necessary for her to be conversant with the affairs of the world. But for a man
who must take active part in public life, such a narrow, egotistic way of
contemplating things is of course harmful.
This is the place of transition. We no longer look outward to receive pictures
that are more or less limited and confused, but direct out contemplation upon
ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-
contemplation means the overcoming of naive egotism in the person who
sees everything solely form his own standpoint. He begins to reflect and in
this way acquires objectivity. However, self-knowledge does not mean
preoccupation with one's own thoughts; rather, it means concern about the
effects one creates. It is only the effects our lives produce that give us the
right to judge whether what we have done means progress or regression.
This describes a man who understands the secrets by which a kingdom can be
made to flourish. Such a man must be given an authoritative position, in
which he can exert influence. He should be, so to speak, a guest-that is, he
should be honored and act independently, and should not be used as a tool.
A man in an authoritative position to whom others look up must always be
ready for self-examination. The right sort of self-examination, however,
consists not in idle brooding over oneself but in examining the effects one
produces. Only when these effects are good, and when one's influence on
others is good, will the contemplation of one's own life bring the
satisfaction of knowing oneself to be free of mistakes.
While the preceding line represents a man who contemplates himself, here
in the highest place everything that is personal, related to the ego, is excluded.
The picture is that of a sage who stands outside the affairs of the world.
Liberated from his ego, he contemplates the laws of life and so realizes that
knowing how to become free of blame is the highest good.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You should be to ready to probable and unexpected troubles. Try to consider and analyse a state of affairs easy and judiciously. Probably, that to you it will be necessary to replace a residence and work. Try anything important to not miss, you need to be now especially attentive. You can receive the help therefrom, whence least wait, for this purpose it is necessary to think over carefully only all the actions. Your desires will be executed, maybe, not so quickly as you would like. It is necessary for you to consider opportunities of realization of your plans well. Well, and if your business will go successfully do not forget to assist another.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary